The Covers

We are the covers

of an old book of poesy

She at the back I at the front

not touching but at the binding

and then only as the commentary

on virtues of early 20th century poetry 

Some love Sylvia Plath or Robert Frost

No doubt they’re among the gentry

Why just today I heard how Frost

changed a man’s life on NPR

Honestly Masefield is better

He who wrote ‘For things

too broke to mend’


That’s her you know

That’s me! Broke beyond

all mending Sylvia died Her head

buried in an oven Who knows of Frost

but I once heard him read as an old man

in a voice resonant with ancient Grecian stone

‘Something there is about a wall that wants it down!’

Great poem But, alas, an unfortunate voice

And the presence not of a poet at all

but of a cadaver too long on ice

No, our brokenness is now

our mending eternal

What can we do?


We are the covers

of an old book of poesy

Bindings of books get broken

in time by careless use

But the poetry abides


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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3 Responses to The Covers

  1. great poem but I’m wounded – Frost has always been a favorite


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